Photo: Aaron of L.A. Photography/Shutterstock

20 Things Wisconsinites Always Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Wisconsin Student Work
by Holly Robertson Apr 3, 2015

1. 40° F weather is perfectly acceptable shorts weather.

Because, you know, it’s not our average of -20° F.

2. Cheese curds are a Wisconsin delicacy.

You have not lived until you’ve had a basket of golden-brown, deep-fried, melt-in-your-mouth cheese curds made fresh in Wisconsin. Haven’t tried them yet? Add these babies to your culinary bucket list. You’re welcome.

3. And there are fortunately TWO different kinds of them.

Fried ones and squeaky ones! You can’t get our fresh, unprocessed baby cheddar bites anywhere else. These salty little blobs of goodness are best when under 12 hours old. And the squeakier they are against your teeth, the better they’ll taste.

4. We’re the home of the world’s largest music festival.

Forget Glastonbury and Ultra. If you want to attend the world’s largest music festival, head to Milwaukee. Every summer, our state’s largest city hosts artists from all over the world across 11 stages for 11 days straight. Not convinced? Check the Guinness Book of World Records. We’ve been reigning champs since 1999.

5. And America’s largest water park.

With 51 different slides and various other rides and attractions, you can’t get any better than Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells — unless it’s overflowing with sweaty humans on the Fourth of July. Visitors be warned.

6. You’re saying Milwaukee wrong.

It’s “Mah-WAU-kee.” I don’t even know what kind of noise you just made.

7. But it’s okay, eventually, you’ll get our city names right.

Ashwaubenon. Oconomowoc. Weyauwega. The struggle is real.

8. Snow doesn’t cancel anything.

If we canceled school every time it snowed, no one would ever graduate.

9. We drink from bubblers.

Ask for a water fountain, and we’ll point you toward the decorative kind you find in parks or gardens. What you’re really looking for is a bubbler when you’re feeling parched.

10. Fridays are reserved for fish fries.

If you had other plans, cancel them right now. They can’t be nearly as good as the beer-battered cod and potato pancakes you’re about to have. It’s a Wisconsin tradition.

11. We drank Pabst Blue Ribbon before it was cool.

I’m not quite sure how to break this to you, but PBR was not invented by hipsters. Pabst Brewing Company originally hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sorry, not sorry.

12. WE are America’s Dairyland.

Sorry, California. Nice try.

13. We take tailgating to a whole new level.

Grab the bratwursts and beer! We tailgate for everything. Brewers games at Miller Park. Packers games at Lambeau Field. Concerts at Alpine Valley. Grandma’s polka recital. Just kidding! But seriously.

14. Brats and hot dogs are two VERY different things.

And if you think otherwise, you’re about to be set straight.

15. A Spotted Cow is also an adult beverage.

It’s the name of a cherished, Wisconsin beer reserved just for us. And we’ll totally share if you make a pilgrimage here to try it.

16. Our airport’s “Recombobulation Area” is totally legit and necessary.

Because, you know, you’re all discombobulated after you go through security, so you need a place to put yourself back together. Don’t worry. Mitchell International Airport’s got you.

17. We are the best sports fans in America.

Badgers, Brewers, Bucks, and Packers — the entire state roots for the home team. Literally the entire state. Including the people who moved away. And the new families of the people who moved away.

18. We have more lakes than Minnesota.

They might be known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but we actually have 15,074. There are so many lakes that we can’t even come up with names for more than half of them!

19. And summers are for lake houses.

In Wisconsin, this is the ultimate form of social currency. Just start talking about your lake house and, BAM, you’ve just made at least 10 new friends.

20. “Cheesehead” is a term of endearment.

Yes, we do occasionally wear blocks of cheese-shaped foam on our heads. And yes, it is attractive.

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